Croatia, caravan
© Vitalij Sova

Improve your life while staying home

Written by
Marc Rowlands
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Well, aside from trips to the park, beach or countryside, we're all pretty much stuck at home right now. But, whether or not the kuća (home) starts to feel like a prison of boredom is largely up to us. An optimistic perspective, followed by a little positive action, could actually help you not just right now, but also in the long term future. Here's some suggestions of ways to occupy yourselves while at home that could improve your life no end.

via GIPHY

Spring cleaning

So, things aren't that bad. At least the sun is out, right? But, as the strengthened sun filters through your curtains, it shines its light on all those nooks and crannies that you haven't cleaned properly since autumn. Is that a tiny piece of diced carrot in the corner of the kitchen? It can't be! You haven't eaten diced carrot since you prepared 5 litres of French salad at Christmas! Omg! Well, step into the spring cleaning and soon you could have your palace back to its very best. You'll feel a huge sense of achievement once it's done and you might even be able have a couple of close friends over.

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The early bird catches the worm!

There's no commute to work for many now and no excuse to procrastinate before setting off on that journey. Those working from home can begin the moment they wake. Why not make the most of your day by doing just that? Switch the computer on the moment you wake up, whatever time that is and you could have half the emails of the day answered and written before you're actually due to start, while working in the comfort of your underwear, yay! By mid afternoon, you could be taking advantage of the sunshine with a walk around the park. Early risers also have more chance of snagging essential items from the fresh supermarket delivery before the apocalypse brigade descend.

Swedish Chef

© Jim Henson Company

Learn to cook

Sick of eating unhealthy lunches but usually only have time to grab something quick from the bakery? Well, now you've got all the time you need. Cooking at home needn't be a time-consuming affair; you can just do some prep work and then stick a slow-cook stew in the oven while you work. What your immune system needs in order to remain healthy are not the 20 boxes of pasta your aunt bought for you before they disappeared from the supermarket shelves, but fresh fruit and vegetables. And they are not in short supply. Once you can cook, your home socialising could look very different to the bowls of čvarci and peanuts which usually greet your guests.

keeping up appearances

© BBC

Cook for a neighbour

If you've already mastered the art of cooking and you're a man, congratulations, you can now consider yourself to be a fully evolved human being capable of taking your place in the modern world. Who knows, with a little more effort, one day you could even reach the high standards of today's career-and-homelife juggling women! Impressive! While you're mulling over that next difficult step, why not consider putting your cooking skills to good use and cook for a neighbour? Others in isolation may have it even more difficult than you. If you're going to cook for a neighbour, be extra vigilant in terms of hygiene and place any finished meals in a plastic container whose outside you wipe fully with disinfectant once it's sealed.

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Do some voluntary work

Time moves more slowly when you're bored. Beat the blues by doing something good for others. If you don't know your neighbours or have none to cook for, get involved in a scheme like 'Jedni za druge'. You'll be helping at a really crucial time and the laws of karma dictate that you can expect your kindness to eventually be repaid, even beyond the buzz you get from helping out.

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Give up smoking

Always toyed with the idea of giving up smoking? The universe has presented you with the perfect opportunity. It only takes three to four days to actually break the physical addiction to nicotine. What's way more difficult to conquer are the social triggers which inspire you to light up; an accompaniment to the coffee you order every day in the same cafe, to go with the beer that's just been delivered to your table, during the brief break you take to get away from your work space or following a meal at a restaurant. Now all those social triggers have been completely removed. It won't be easy, but few beneficial things are. It will be easier than if you try it at any other time in your life though. Just remember to ask yourself who has greater control over your own life? You or the no good chemicals in your cigarette and the monsters who market them? If the latter, that's a bit pathetic, no?

gipsy house

© Yugoland

DIY

Always wanted to build that extra bookshelf? Is that photo of baka (grandma) still lying unframed in the drawer? Do you say to yourself every year that you should finally get around to putting mosquito netting on the windows so you can sleep comforted by the cooler nighttime air in summer? Well, now's your chance. Impress your single neighbours from atop a ladder while clearing your guttering of leaves and who knows where it could lead (at worse, it will lead to an invitation to clear their guttering while you're at it)?

Vjezbaj, toni

© Youtube

Exercise

Well, the pool and gym are closed, but that's no excuse to sit on the sofa for weeks, stuffing your face with chocolate and crisps. You can exercise just as well in the park and spring is here so the days are filled with sun. If you're near the sea, why not try a bracing swim? Yes, the water is still very cold, but if some can jump into midwinter's frozen lakes, maybe a quick paddle won't do you any harm? If you don't want to go out, there are plenty of yoga, fitness and dance classes taking place online. Who knows? Like a beautiful butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, once the virus dies down, you could come out of isolation looking like two separate gorillas sharing the same t-shirt!

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